Wednesday, October 24, 2012

And that's all he grew....he didn't grow anymore

This marks our final Produce CSA distribution week. Alas, it was a good run overall. We always enjoy
 seeing our customers each week and we are endlessly appreciative of their continued support.

 Every year, we have successes and failures,  and some years, we continue to struggle with the same things. This season, we met with struggles in our squash field. This amounted to what we refer to in the biz as a crop failure.

The summer squash and zucchini pulled through and we had enough winter squash for a few each but not the mountains of pumpkin and winter squash we have enjoyed in previous seasons. The third planting of cucumbers finally produced. The answer to the squash we think is two fold. The first part is a prayer to the heavens for a cold ass winter to kill off some of the overwintering pests that plague us in years when the winter is mild and the populations of pests don't get knocked back.

Secondly, we will plan to invest in a substantial amount of row cover and use this as a barrier to deter the interaction of the bugs with the squash plants. Finally, we are going to abandon the acre of landscape fabric that we have invested in over the years. We think it might harbor squash bugs, that they may like it. If we have another squash crop failure next season, it certainly won't be for not trying.

We had a majorly successful year for Solanaceous crops such as peppers, eggplants and tomatoes. We are still getting some ripe tomatoes out of the hoophouse! The peppers and eggplants loved growing on black plastic, making the soil temps warmer and allowing for the bell peppers to change from green to red. It was fantastic for them, all around. We hope folks weren't overwhelmed by too much eggplant and too many peppers. It's hard not share when there is an abundance.

Sometime close to the New Year, we will start our membership drive for next year. In the meantime, we'll clean up the fields, pack equipment away for the winter, start interviews for next year's crew....already the resumes are rolling in! We'll spend a little time updating the website and evaluating whether or not to use the same software program as we did this year to manage memberships. We will evaluate how to grow the business, what to do more or less of and what makes us happy. We'll talk to wedding couples about flowers. And when the snow comes, we'll ski! Next month, we'll head the MOFGA Farmer to Farmer conference to, ironically, present about squash. And then, we'll travel to Tacoma, Washington for the Association of Specialty Cut Flower Grower's conference. I can hardly wait to talk flowers with other growers and designers and to be on the West coast for a stretch. That said, if you have any input you would like to share about how the season went for you as a customer, please do. We welcome feedback as it helps direct our energy towards improving the farm experience for our customers.

We'll try to keep you all filled in as the winter moves in on us. I have been saving a few stories to share about barn renovations and hoophouses and gorgeous wedding flowers so you won't be continually subjected to photos of my icy dooryard  and my dark root cellar all winter. Till then...

Blessings on the meal,

No comments:

Post a Comment